In Memoriam: Catherine Rachel Ostrow-D’Haeseleer, 1954-2019

Catherine Rachel Ostrow-D’Haeseleer, who taught at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for 29 years, died late last month. She was 65 years old.

Ostrow-D’Haeseleer was born in Kananga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where her Belgium-born father was a teacher and school administrator. She received her high school education in Belgium and never went on to college.

In the fall of 1983, she was asked to take over a French course at Wesleyan University for a professor who had to take an unexpected leave. After stints as both a part-time and full-time visiting faculty member, Ostrow-D’Haeseleer was hired as an adjunct lecturer in 1991 and taught at Wesleyan for the next 29 years.

“Catherine was an extraordinary teacher,” said her colleague Stéphanie Ponsavady, associate professor of French. “It was always a pleasure and a reward to inherit the students she had taught. Catherine was a dedicated colleague and a generous mentor to the junior faculty. She held herself, her students, and us to the highest standards of integrity academically and personally.”

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